Though a craft dating centuries within African Art, body painting has in several year taken a hid, and disappeared from the main stream Art practice. Mawuli’s desire to revive its is one unstoppable drive which has seen him standing out for it.
Mawuli” is ‘volterian’ which means ‘God is alive’. Born Accra, Ghana on the 18th/05/1999 to Mr Maxwell Awuku and Mrs Bridgette Dzidzineyo, Oscar Korbla Mawuli Awuku not new when it comes to Art, and specifically Body painting.
Growing up, I together with my siblings would sit together and listen stories about the great Anansi and his exploits. He was seen as a dubious character but to me I saw Anansi as a creative person since he was a great weaver in the stories and a spider which to me has really inspired my art movement ‘anansinism. I also used to challenge myself to become one of the best renowned artist in the world so most often I spend time on practicing on how to make good sketches and paintings to improve myself. And also I had a lot of encouragement from colleagues and most often teachers and my parents, I quiet remember being called by most of my teachers back then in basic school to come and make illustrations on the board to aid in teaching, so I must say that also pushed me to practice more.
Having pursued studies at Senajoy International School (2001 – 2014) , Mawuli Senior High School in the Volta Region of Ghana to pursue Visual Arts (2014-2017), he is currently offering Commercial Arts in Painting at Takoradi Technical University in the Western Region of Ghana since 2018.
‘Growing up, I used to challenge myself to become one of the best renowned artist in the world so most often I spend time on practising on how to make good sketches and paintings to improve myself. And also I had a lot of encouragement from colleagues and most often teachers and my parents, I quiet remember being called by most of my teachers back then in basic school to come and make illustrations on the board to aid in teaching, so I must say that also pushed me to practice more‘— Mawuli
But body art wasn’t a thing Mauli had ever imagined as part of his artistic life, until in 2018, at a time when he was just doing his normal stuff he received a call from a friend inviting him to Osu castle in Accra to do art on the body of a video shoot.
“I noticed it was for a music video shoot for Becca Nana featuring Sarkodie and I was quiet stunned and for a moment I told myself if I was going to do something, it should be something which was going to look good, and ever since then, body arts has been a picture in my artistic life“
But Mauli has further evolved into a Body Art practitioner, and more so- one who specializes onto paining women bodies. His usual works, which are documented through video and still images adorn his social media handles, but can also raise curiosity as to how and why he specializes in this.
‘Women play a vital role in human progress and have a significant place in the society hence they are capable of sharing all the responsibilities of life. Women have a better voice to convey messages and makes it quiet easier to understand, the reason I chose to use ladies is for the fact that despite their social significance they posses qualities of elements of design which I personally call them walking Art works‘
Mauli has had a lot of criticism ever since he embarked onto working on nude models. People presume so long as he works on nude ladies, he either get intimate with them before or after the shoot, which isn’t so.
Aside body arts, Mauli is a skilled in digital illustrations, videography, sculpture, painting and currently learning photography and how to work with images in Photoshop. Though he hasn’t yet held any exhibitions on any of his art forms including body art, he is hopeful to do so this year or in 2021.
I look forward for my art to gain international recognition and acceptance, aside that I have plans of creating a platform to encourage and support other young artist like myself to reach higher heights